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Keep Off the Extra Pounds: 10 Easy and Effective Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

holiday dinner table

The holidays are a joyful time full of family, friends, laughter and fun. But between eggnog, holiday cookies, Grandma's pecan pie and all of those scrumptious carbohydrates, temptations are everywhere--which can be rough on the body.

Luckily, you can still celebrate the holidays and enjoy delicious food, while also avoiding holiday weight gain and sabotaging your health and fitness goals.

10 Simple Tips to Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

1. Bring a Healthy Dish to Share

healthy sweet potato dish

Heading to a party and aren’t sure if there will be any healthy options? Bring your own! That way you can participate in the joy of eating with friends and there will be at least one healthy dish.

2. Eat Mindfully

cranberry sauce

It can take your brain up to 20 minutes to realize your full. So, at holiday meals, slow down, eat mindfully and savor every bite.

3. Move Your Body

women exercising

One easy way to offset those extra holiday calories is to exercise. Aim for 30 minutes of physical movement most days. Try going on a family walk after dinner and do your best to keep up your great fitness routine.

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4. Fill Up on Veggies, First

Vegetables are nutrient dense., low in calories and rich in fiber, which helps you feel full longer. At holiday gatherings, aim to fill half your plate with veggies--and eat them first.

Yogurt and strawberries

5. Don't Skip Meals

Skipping meals to save on calories for later usually backfires. Often, we end up ravenous and are more likely to overeat at dinner. Sticking to a meal schedule helps keep your body sugar steady to prevent overeating.

glass of wine

6. Drink Smart

Alcoholic drinks contain empty calories that can add up quickly. So if you drink, drink in moderation. Try drinking a glass of water in between drinks, or adding sparking water to your wine.

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7. Watch Where You Stand

holiday table filled with food

Try not to stand too close to the food table. It makes it easy to mindlessly munch while you chat. Fill your plate and then move across the room and visit.

8. Upgrade Your Sweets

pumpkin dessert

When it comes to the holiday season, temptations are everywhere. But, you can still enjoy festive treats without w

recking your goals.Try healthier versions that are sweetened with honey, maple syrup, dates and coconut sugar.

9. Watch Your Portions

pumpkin pie

There's nothing wrong with indulging in your favorite foods. Just watch your portion sizes so you don't overdo it. Try using a smaller plate and a smaller portion. If you really want more, then go back for seconds.

peanut butter protein bars

10. Don't Shop Hungry

Christmas shopping bags

Headed out for some shopping? Eat before you go. That way, hungry cravings won’t hit and Cinnabon or the Great American

Cookie Company won’t seem so tempting. Having snacks on hand is also a smart move.

Healthy Meals & Recipes From Our Food Plans

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  • Studies suggest that the average weight gain during the holiday season is around 1 to 2 pounds for most people.

  • While this may not seem like much, research indicates that people often don't lose this weight in the following months.

  • Drinking water throughout the day can help you stay hydrated and may also help control your appetite.

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